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Showing content with the highest reputation since 29/01/20 in Posts

  1. 49 points
    Hi SGL, I ve been away for quite a while, but its good to be back, and have a picture to post. This is Cassiopeia, a 25 pane 530mm mosaic. I started this in 2016 when I captured the Lum panels, it took building my own remote observatory at Ollys in France before I could capture the RGB, Ha and O3 data. This comes to about 350hrs of LHaRGB data about 240 of those taken in the last year remotely. No noise reduction has been used, and only sharpening on a few certain objects. I re-took about 5 panels in RGB due to stitching and gradient issues. There are a lot of objects in here that I have not seen before. mostly Sharpless objects, but the main defining nebula here is the "Breaking Wave" that Olly coined when we went deep in Ha in this area before. I was pleased to find the "Face On mars" as I like to call it SH2-173 in the mix, along with numerous other objects. I m attaching a small image, and then a bigger attenuated version which I hope you can zoom in to. My friend is setting up the Zoomify option on the website but it may take a few days, so I ve decided to post these in the meantime. I hope you like it, and of course huge thanks to Olly Penrice, Steve Richards for helping with the remote set up, and all the others on the group who helped me trouble shoot the observatory issues. Tom.
  2. 45 points
    I have not posted many images recently for a few different reasons, one being that I image mostly for myself and another being the really poor weather we have had in recent years means some projects have taken some time to finish and I don't like to post things half baked. But this one is special to me as this is the last image that I will ever take with my faithful Skywatcher 130PDS Newtonian. My 130PDS has served me well over the last 4 years of imaging and is certainly the best astronomy purchase I have made giving incredible value and results for an outlay of only £159 at the time of purchase. It allowed me to place money earlier than would have otherwise have been possible into items such as quality filters, a mono camera and even a mini observatory. But the search for ever better images continues and it has now been replaced by an Esprit 100 and that is quite a long story in itself, but for another time. The 130PDS is not the right tool for capturing an object as large as the Heart Nebula, not least because it cant be done in less than 4 panels with my camera. So I would like to say that this project was planned start to finish but in reality this is a image of the Fish Head Nebula that got out of hand. The image was captured from November 2018 to December 2019 with two panels completed in each season. Camera = ASI1600mm pro Imaging Scope = SW 130PDS Mount = HEQ5pro (belt modded) Filters = Astrodon 1.25 inch 5nm Ha and OIIII Total integration = 40 hours (20 hours Ha and 20 Hours OIII in 600x4min subs) I wanted to have a balanced framing of the nebula so that the eye is not overly drawn to any single part and so the image is slightly cropped to achieve this. I wanted the spike of nebulocity to the left to push into the top corner so as to balance out the Fish Head over to the right, I also wanted Melotte 15 to be as central as possible to provide a focus to the center of the image. The image was stacked in APP and finished in Photoshop CS2. I experimented with Starnet a little removing the stars and replacing them with a shifted color balance. I may well revisit this at a later point but I am all processed out on this for now. Thanks for looking hope you enjoy it. Adam
  3. 42 points
    I have imaged the Rosette Nebula 3 times at 3 differnt focal lengths (318 mm, 480 mm and 700 mm). I managed to work each idata set into a version I could live with (after much time!). Each image consists of 14 hours, 24 hours, 13 hours respectively. I wondered what would happen if I combied them all into a 51 hour image. So, becuase I do not know how to insert higher resolution data into lowere resolution widefield data (Any advise on how to do that would be very much appreciated). So, I registered all data to the smallest FOV (which eliminated the need to crop the combined image), combined the 3 images,then inserted the lum of the highest resolution image (700 mm)-- Well--here it is. I do miss the wider FOV, but still a satisfying endeavor.
  4. 39 points
    M1 - The Crab Nebula Introduction The Crab Nebula in the constellation of Taurus is a supernova remnant (designated SN 1054) from a star that went supernova in 1054 and was originally observed by Chinese astronomers who recorded the event in some detail, describing it as a ‘guest star’. Their records show that the star shone approximately four times brighter than the planet Venus and was visible during daylight hours for 23 days. The nebula wasn't officially recorded until 1731 when it was observed by the English astronomer John Bevis and added to the Messier catalogue in 1758. We have William Parsons the 3rd Earl of Rosse to thank for its common name following his observation and subsequent sketch of the nebula in 1840 that looked rather like a crab. During the summer of 1967 a U.S. Air Force officer, Charles Schisler,who was on radar duty at the Clear Air Force Base in Alaska noticed a fluctuating radio source. Over the course of several days Schisler noticed that its position coincided with that of the Crab Nebula. Unfortunately, Schisler’s findings went unpublished but were unearthed in 2007. In 1968 Puerto Rican astronomers discovered the same pulsing radio source and it was determined to be a pulsar, a rapidly rotating tiny star flashing about 30 times per second. Now known as the Crab Pulsar this is a neutron star (NP0532) 100,000 times more energetic than the sun and was the progenitor of the nebula. Because of its energy and relatively recent (in cosmology terms) appearance, the nebula has been the focus of many measurements and the filamentary expansion of the nebula is detectable in many pairs of high resolution images captured more than 20 years apart. I have struggled to capture all the Ha data that I wanted for this image as the appalling weather during much of January and February has put a severe limit on my activities but I did capture a pleasant amount of the OIII data which shows some lovely detail in just a mono image and is included below for reference. With the object now setting on my local horizon just before 02:00 and no letup in the poor weather in sight, I have decided to call it quits for this season and just process what I have got! Image Stats Mount: Mesu 200 Telescope: Sky-Watcher Esprit 150 Flattener: Sky-Watcher Esprit specific Camera: QSI 683 WSG-8 Filters: Astrodon 3nm Ha, 3nm OIII Subframes: 16 x 1800 sec Ha, 18 x 1800 sec OIII Total Integration: 17 hours Control: CCD Commander Capture: MaxIm DL Calibration, Stacking and Deconvolution: PixInsight Post-Processing: PhotoShop PS3 Location Constellation Taurus RA 05° 34' 20.7" DEC +22° 00' 39.9" Distance ~6500ly Edited to show the correct date of the Puerto Rican astronomer's discovery of the pulsar thanks to @ollypenrice who kindly pointed out an ambiguity in the text that I consulted during my research on the write-up for this post!
  5. 38 points
    Hi I remember seeing images of the horsehead nebula many years ago and thinking I need to be into this imaging game and I have tried many times to get a decent image of the horsehead , but it is low in the orange gooo around here and have failed many times with various scopes Now I have tried with my tak 106 ( f5 ) and a sx sxvr H35 and even though I am still short on data ( yes Never enough is there) I am reasonbly happy with it Did struggle with processing and this is my upteenth attempt and perhapes will come back to it next year It consists of 270min lum and 270min RGB taken in 5 min subs please see here for a high res version http://www.harrysastroshed.com/imagepages/nebulapages/horse.html Thanks for looking Regards Harry
  6. 33 points
    I posted a rendition of this faint cobwebby supernova remnant some time ago. It was about 18 hours of Ha and 11 hours OIII using an ASI 1600MM pro camera and a Canon F2.8 lens. As I tend to do I pumped up the volume and turned out quite a brassy rendition with Ha very much to the fore. Here's the link Anyway, I've calmed down and spent days of my life which I won't get back trying to tease out more OIII and calming the Ha a little. There has been a lot of experimentation aka trial and error, blending and unblending and reblending in PS. Masks, selective colour etc etc. I have now come up with the image below which I am happy with....I think! The biggest problem I have faced is uneveness in the background which I think is because the very faint 12bit data has simply run out of steam.
  7. 32 points
    Well, I need a lot more data for this one! Anyway, here is a try at bicolour image of Simeis 147 - the Spaghetti Nebula. 67*5 minutes of 3nm Ha and 27*5 minutes of 3nm O3. Samyang 135/2.0 lens @f/4. ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool
  8. 31 points
    Hi all, For a long time I wanted to shoot this frame, probably from the early days of my astrophotography adventure. Finally after all these years I managed to get a decent result of the 'stuff' between these two beautiful nebulae. Fairly happy with the image but always looking for improvement. I hope one day to redo this all with a mono camera and filters. Apart from NGC1499 , M45 and the Baby Eagle Nebula no idea what else is in the picture. If you happen to have an idea feel free to educate me. Some info on image and capturing: Widefield Pleiades to California. Taken over 2 nights with a total of 11hrs 25min integration. With a stock Nikon d610 and Nikkor 85mm 1.8 objective. Tracking was done with the Skywatcher Star Adventurer. Lights and all calibrations frames were stacked in DSS. Processing was done in Adobe Photoshop CC using Adobe Raw, GradientXterminator plugin, HLVG plugin, Nik software plugins and Photokemi action set. Ken
  9. 29 points
    Hi all, Not the most detailed report, but a fairly incredible whirlwind (er...literally), non-stop session last night from 9pm to 3:30am. I've cut and pasted some of this as I'm dog-tired and owe my wife for putting the kids to bed last night, so computer time is limited at the moment. Really went for it last night, was very clear here in the NE of Scotland. Set up the 20" dob at 9pm on a hilltop at my dark sky 'B' spot, around 450m @21.80SQM. It takes a bit of work to load and set this big scope up, but to me, the views from a dark site are worth every calorie used to get it there! And some people buy a gym membership instead... GOTO was working a treat, took extra care on the levelling, alignment and centring alignment stars carefully to eyepiece - used an 8mm plossl to centre, seems to make a big difference over my typical semi-sloppy 'that'll do' alignment with a wide angle EP. Don't even know where to start with the observations... Caught B33/IC434 Horsehead early to test seeing/transparency, it was immediately and directly visible with the 17.5mm Morpheus and Hb before my eyes even fully dark adapted. A good sign and the more you see the HH, the easier it gets when the conditions agree. I've even caught it with my 300p from this site. Then up to Flame Nebula, down to M42, and in no particular order, Heart and Soul, lots of dispersed nebulosity here. Then Auriga with IC405, IC410 on each side of the 'Auriga Ladder' (see pic below), a quick label I came up with a few days ago for the double row of stars that separate IC410 and 405 - by the way, the 'ladder' was easily visible with the naked eye last night. (update - this asterism already is officially known by some as the 'flying minnow') Surprisingly, I also noted a very bright nebulous circular patch about the same size as IC410 a fair bit north of these but still in Auriga. I was still trying to figure out that one until this morning. The first answer based on my very brief description: Spider and Fly - thanks Gerry! The other possible though less likely contender Stephan mentioned is SH2-232, don't think many of the Sharpless catalogue objects are normally visible with binoculars, but using filters on good bins under dark skies might work here. Viewed these with both the scope and binoculars using OIII & Hb, my preferred bino filter choices. The widefield view through the binos was especially good. Excellent view of California Nebula with the 15x70s Apollos and Hb/OIII combo, first time I've seen it so clearly though the binoculars. This would be one for mounting the bins on a tripod and spending some time. I think you would need both filters on binoculars to see it, it's amazing how the brain combines the two different levels of brightness and contrast and picks the best of both. Back to the dob and M38, M36, NGC1907, NGC1893, M1 Crab Nebula, Pleiades, Double Cluster, Hind's Variable Nebula (amazing, looks like a comet, first view of that one), IC2162 (was going for Lower's Nebula, but got sidetracked - is Lower's Hb filter or OIII anyone?), IC 443 Jellyfish (very nice, a first on that). Some favs revisited - M108 Surfboard Galaxy, Owl PN. Then there was the Rosette... First time I've seen the Rosette, yes, first time. Holy smokes, sort of like a condensed version of the Veil, but seemed even brighter. Just stunning! And the circularity, just amazing. Going back to that one soon I hope. Went into the Caldwell Catalogue a bit more Cave Nebula, got all sorts with that one, seems very complex. Crescent Nebula, Eskimo PN (excellent), C59/NGC 3242 Ghost of Jupiter PN, just brilliant, very low on horizon. Cat's Eye nebula. I think that's it, left my sheet in the van! Then the galaxies... good grief. Just kept the 21 Ethos in the focuser to take it all in. Leo Triplet, Leo Quartet, over to M95, 96, 105 and the NGCs immediately to the north and then, over to Markarian's Chain and environs, first time there, another holy smokes moments with some audible gasping. I lost count at this point and was literally talking out loud to myself. Kind of like Bill Murray in Caddyshack if he was an amateur astronomer. Dozens of galaxies and I didn't even sweep the whole area. Head was spinning. Bright ones, faint ones, very faint ones showing just a slight whisper, side on, flat, you name it. Galaxies everywhere. Just mind-blowing. I certainly saw a lot of objects due to the GOTO. I know it's not a race, but the reason I didn't spend more time on each one was the wind. The vibrations from the gusts frequently made very detailed higher mag observations impossible. It was gusting steadily past 30mph for most of the night and was about -2C I reckon without windchill, so I would take in a few objects, hop in the van for a sip of coffee, pick some more from my list, and hop back out... I left the light shroud off the truss dob all night just to reduce windage, I simply wouldn't have been able to view with it on even with the van acting as a windblock, and there was always a chance it would pull the scope over. Wind was picking up considerably by this point and the scope was vibrating way to much to concentrate on anything in great detail, so I called it a night... My top 5 to revisit from last night: 1.) Markarian's Chain 2.) Rosette Nebula 3.) Hind's Variable Nebula 4.) Spider and Fly 5.) California Nebula Scratch that, I'd like to see them all again... PS I find using binoculars, especially with filters, under dark conditions complements the big dob and offers a lot of bang for the buck, as they say. You can take in some amazing widefield views, and the way the brain combines the same image using different filters for each eye is very interesting. Anyway, I'm beat! Thanks to everyone who has suggested DSOs by the way and advice on EPs and technique here on SGL, I'd be lost without. Good luck and happy observing all
  10. 26 points
    Taken almost exactly one year ago, but as usual never had the time to work on it properly until some days ago. During processing I realised that there was no reason to go after excessive detail when imaging wide field. So I sacrificed details for the sake of richer color variations, which took the longest time of the processing, (Over 20 hours) I believe keeping great detail and rich color at the same time, is something that is very difficult to achieve. Perhaps it is possible in the future with the my new Newtonian and as processing technics progresses. This was 7.2 hours, with two thirds for Ha and one third for OIII. Balcony shooting from central Stockholm. Acquisition details and higher resolution here; https://www.astrobin.com/full/efbiup/0/ Thanks
  11. 26 points
    Here's a lighly processed image taken with the new ASI6200. It consists of just RGB data, i have around 15 hours luminance data, but i really like the RGB image alone and it didn't take much work to get to this point. Getting the LRGB version really great will take many hours to process and won't be ready for a few days. Mount 10 Micron GM2000 Telescope TOA150B with 645 flattener R 69x120s G 63x120s B 102x120s Imaged from Askvang Observatory owned by Tommy Linnerud Thanks for any comments Please check the full version, do take note that the full version is half the resolution of the original image, the original is in my opinion too big to upload at over 100MB. M81 crop M82 crop A bunch of galaxies near M82, all the yellow spots are galaxies far away so there's more galaxies than stars here! (this is a crop from the full version)
  12. 26 points
    The skies were clear as we left the pub quiz on Tuesday night so I turned the rig on the Sunflower galaxy and managed to capture 4hrs of Luminance on the Esprit150/SX46 and 1 hour each of RGB on the Esprit100/ASI1600 before the clouds rolled in. Putting it all together in APP, Pixinsight and Photoshop reveals the fabulous Sunflower galaxy floating in a sea of hundreds and hundreds of distant galaxies. Messier 63 the Sunflower Galaxy is a spiral galaxy in the northern constellation of Canes Venatici. M63 was first discovered by the French astronomer Pierre Méchain then later verified by his colleague Charles Messier on June 14, 1779. In the mid-19th century, Anglo-Irish astronomer Lord Rosse identified spiral structures within the galaxy, making it one of the first galaxies in which such structure was identified. This galaxy has a morphological classification of SAbc, indicating a spiral shape with no central bar feature and moderate to loosely wound arms. The distance to M63, is estimated between 16,000,000–34,000,000 light-years. The tip of the red-giant branch technique gives a distance of 29,000,000 light-years. M63 is part of the M51 Group, a group of galaxies that also includes M51 (the 'Whirlpool Galaxy'). I'm pretty happy with this given the integration time, will probably come back to it later in the spring for some more data. I've included wide field and close up views. Thanks for looking Dave
  13. 25 points
    This is why I never throw away data that, at the time, I think it's good for nothing. I revisited my Deer Lick and Stephan's quintet to see how much better my processing skills are after one and a half years. Here's tonight's attempt And my previous attempt: It wasn't very easy to get to this result but I'm really glad I managed to do it properly this time. Here's how the pixinsight autostretch looks like. The 450d banding is absolutely terrible. Full resolution and other details on my astrobin account: https://www.astrobin.com/ncv0wn/0/ Emil
  14. 25 points
    Heart and Soul - 41 x 3m 3nm Ha subs, 135mm f2.5 Asahi Super Takumar lens, ASI 1600MM-Cool with gain of 139. Calibrated with darks and flats. Calibrated, aligned and stacked in PixInsight. Custom stretch. Scaled in GIMP.
  15. 23 points
    Telescope: https://flic.kr/p/2gAfKn7 Total exposure time: 39hrs. A combination of 5min and 10min per exposure of 356 stacked images. I use 3nm Astrodon filters in SII/Ha and OIII. Exposures: Ha = 58 x 600s / 85 x 300s SII = 20 x 600s / 82 x 300s OIII = 33 x 600s / 78 x 300s Processed in Pixinsight..
  16. 22 points
    I finally manged to capture a full data set. This image was plagued by a little bit of every problem peculiar to astrophotography: clouds, fog, Moonlight, LP, bad flats, bad drivers, split cables, poor seeing,....to name a few. I preservered through several false starts--having to throw out about 50% of the subs due to poor seeing and high FWHM values. What I kept was pretty good for me--I think the image as a whole has a FWHM value of less than 2.5. I don't achieve that very often--certainly not for all my filters in a data set. I had to shoot Lum over many nights in efforts to get data as good as the other filters--otherwise using the lum data would not help. I think I collected 187 and kept 92 lum subs. As far as the data that I kept goes I am pretty pleased, though the blue and green channels were collected with high cloud that muddied the waters a bit. I always think I need more data, but common sense tells me that 27 hours should be enough. The palette gives me the greatest pause--it was very wan and gray. I had to work really hard to get colors to show without bowing the image apart. I think the palette may be a bit loud--especially the blue, but examples of this galaxy I have seen are not the most colorful--and blue seems to be the basic look. The data I probably could use more of the most is Ha--I collected 40 300 sec subs and the night was so good I switched to lum to add to that channel under the assumption that 3.5 hours of Ha should be enough. I always seem to lose some in the insertion procedure though--the Ha stack looked like it had a lot of potential. This is a crop taken with TOA 130 and ASI 1600. All subs 300 sec Red: 80; Green: 56: Blue: 58: Lum 92: Ha: 40. I used a super luminance composed of all Lum and RGB subs integrated together as a luminance. In retrospect I think I was a bit aggressive with the crop. I should have processed the image fully than cropped so i would have both. I cropped early though. Oh well, I am sure I will be processing this data for weeks to come. I will have to be more organized in my processing. I think this version is one that was binned 2x2 in software prior to cropping. I had both an unbinnd and binned one and through the course of processing lost track of which was which--but Astrobin reports the pixel scale to by 1.57--so this must be the binned version
  17. 22 points
    Hi everyone New moon so of course the conditions were rubbish with easterlies creating the usual haze as the night air cooled. Anyway, no excuses. Three telescopes, 4 guys with an assortment of miners' lamps, torches, laptop screens, cheap supermarket beers and cables. Everywhere. I was in charge of the f4 and actually got to take some frames. As always, colour remains elusive; there seems no right or wrong way of doing it. So, and against all the odds, here is a photograph of a galaxy. Do say what you think and post your dslr version. You can learn so much by comparison:) 700d @ ISO800
  18. 22 points
    Wilhelm Lohrmann 1824 Sinus Medii original chart and the February 1, 2020 register by the Brazilian selenographer Avaní Soares! A nice comparison between early XIX century well drawn lunar features and details by Lohrmann and 200 years later, the expertise of Avaní and his incredible hi-res images! This clearly shows the importance of lunar visual observation and sketching and high-resolution lunar photography!!! An important point to observe on 1824 Lohrmann's charts are the gradual albedo markings, one of the interesting innovations at the time and certainly not an easy thing to accomplish, to properly measure and translate into a beautiful done engraving! Some interesting features, in the 200 years old Lohrmann chart, are absent. For example, the Rimae Triesnecker structure on the left side of crater. Although some albedo difference was noted by Lohrmann that vaguely follow this rimae path. Certainly, other craters and details are missing. Why? Well, that is the fascinating aspect of comparing a 200-year-old chart with an actual hi-res photography! Perhaps the original Lohman’s telescope aperture was not enough to observe some details, perhaps he has not the visual acuity to observe them or the Sun inclination was not the best at the moment of the observations... Anyway, it’s amazing what a 200-year-old chart reveal! Text and editing: Andrés de La Plaza https://www.astrobin.com/full/s7ixwk/0/?real=&mod=
  19. 22 points
    This was done with the productive dual TEC140 rig co-owned by myself, Tom O'Donoghue and Mr and Mrs Gnomus. (Atik 460 and Moravian 8300 on Mesu 200 mount.) RGB 3 hrs per colour. Ha 8.25 hrs. OIII 7.75 Hrs. Stacked in Astro Art, components aligned and resized in Registar, post-processing initially in PI but mostly PsCS3. Ha to red, OIII to green and blue all in blend mode lighten with the green/blue balance done in Ps Layers. An Ha-OIII monochrome blend was very lightly applied as luminance as well. Let's spare a though for two people, here: Fritz Zwicky who had the intellectual courage to realize that nature could create neutron stars and Heather Couper, with whom I overlapped at university without ever meeting her, and who died recently. She was a great communicator of astronomical science. It's a crop posted full size if you click on it. Olly
  20. 22 points
    I was really pleasantly surprised with the results of some lunar imaging I did last night as the seeing appeared variable. Scope is the C8 and camera the Altair GPcam V2. I also used a Baader longpass 610 filter. There are generally around 500/2000 frames stacked. The wider field shots are at prime focus. I added a 1.5x barlow for the close ups.
  21. 21 points
    This data set has been sitting on my laptop since capture back in July last year, waiting patiently for me to pluck up the courage and find the time to try and turn it into a presentable image. Well, that has finally happened over the last few days and here is my latest rendition of that popular planetary nebula astrophotography target some 1,400 light years away in Vulpecula. I know, it's a bit odd posting a summer target in the depths of winter, but at least it helps to remind us that the sky can be clear sometimes! Technical Details Celestron EdgeHD 8" on a Mesu 200 and QSI 683-WSG8 with 31mm Astrodon Filters (5nm narrowband) RGB = 18 x 300s each Ha = 26 x 1800s OIII = 28 x 1800s Total Integration = 31 hours 30 minutes I changed my usual processing workflow with this image and gave Starnet++ a try. All the calibration and stacking was done in Astro Pixel Processor, along with the RGB combination. I saved out the RGB, Ha and OIII stacks, each with the Digital Development from APP. (I do love APP ever more, especially having had a long, detailed and generally wonderful chat with its creator, Mabula Haverkamp, at AstroFest this year - what a totally lovely chap!). I took everything into PhotoShop and did a few bits and bobs. I struggled to successfully combine the narrowband and broadband data - it just wouldn't fit together nicely. So, a brainwave struck me and I wondered whether that Starnet thing I had read about might just be the answer. Once I had sussed out how the heck to get it to work (thanks to a post from Andy on IceInSpace for the very useful notes!) I let it strip away the stars from the Ha and OIII images. I then combined the two starless images as a bi-colour Ha/OIII/OIII in PhotoShop and tried adding that to the RGB starfield using Screen blending mode. Wow, that was far more the kind of thing that I was looking for! I then did the few polishing techniques to arrive at this final version. I am a bit disappointed that there isn't more of the outer halo of material visible in the image, but I've pushed the data as far as I am happy to go and that is as much as it is willing to yield to me. It has a mysterious outer glow and that is OK, but all in all, an insufficiently dark sky coupled with a slow (f10) telescope has left that glowing material hidden in space. Nevermind, there's always next time... if we ever get to see the night sky again that is - this incessant cloud is now really getting tedious. It's scuppering my current attempt at a four pane mosaic of the Spaghetti Nebula! (If I ever get enought data for that one I will definitely be trying this starless narrowband processing approach with it). Clear skies to you all and I hope you like this image.
  22. 21 points
    Just came across (via Brian Cox Tweet) latest VLT images of Betelgeuse! https://www.eso.org/public/news/eso2003/ Some amazing "before and after" animations knocking around too... https://twitter.com/Astro_MiguelM/status/1228369616646365184
  23. 21 points
    Mandel Wilson 2 is just a part of a much wider region of Integrated Flux Nebulae in northern skies and as another challenge/test to myself i decided to see if i could see any never mind get even come close to the lovely image @Barry-Wilson produced nearly a couple of years ago, except mine was taken between two towns in Shropshire I could really do with some help/advice on the granular nature of some this (and some others) image. It was imaged at 1.67"/p with a Tak100DF and an Atik16200 assisted by an FSQ85/QSI683 yet to my eye it appears granular and I cannot yet work out what process I am over or under-doing. As with all the recent weeks, clear skies have been at a premium and those that are have carried haze or high cloud. There are 125 x 300" L, and 30 x 180" each of RGB. Thanks for looking and especially anyone who can offer suggestions.
  24. 21 points
    All the way from Sweden and deposited on my door step by the courier three days earlier than expected - As it was palleted and weighed almost 70kg, it was left out in the rain until I got home from work! The box was a little soggy, but it was well packed and wrapped in polythene, so no problems (other than a long explanation to my wife) - Fair to say it is a bit of a beast and I shall look forward to hoovering up some stray photons once I can get it mounted and balanced in my obs.
  25. 21 points
    Melotte 15 been a while on this with our lovely weather and the newish 10s quattro HA -3-HOURS AT BINN 1 HA -1.5-HOURS AT BINN 2 OIII-1.5-HOURS AT BINN 2 S2-1.5-HOURS AT BINN 2 RGB-1-HOUR EACH CHANNEL BINN 1 FOR STARS STACKED IN DEEP SKY STACKER COMBINED IN PHOTOSHOP CS5 no darks or flats thanks for looking as you can see it still needs more data but im sick of the weather so here it is
  26. 19 points
    Ngc 2841 is an unbarred spiral galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major. Its distance is approximately 46 Mly. It is a flocculent galaxy with discontinuous arms Ngc 2841 has an extended, very weak outer halo that needs long integration times to reveal. The small galaxy in the lower left is pgc 26572 (MCG+09-16-008), at a distance of approximately 140 Mly Towards the upper right corner there are a few small galaxies which are at a distance of 830 - 850 Mly. Acquisition details: Skywatcher MN190 on SW AZ-EQ6 mount Camera ZWO ASI174MM-Cool with ZWO filters (LRGB) and ZWO off axis guider L: 104 x 2 min R: 40 x 4 min G: 35 x 4 min B: 35 x 4 min Total integration time 648 minutes (10.8 hours) collected over 2 nights Processed in PixInsight. Inverted luminance with rgb insert. This image shows the weak extension of the main galaxy The dark patch in the upper right corner is the reflection of a bright star (magnitude 6.5) just outside the field of view.
  27. 19 points
    Today is a good day After years of watching the market, months of discussion, planning, and preparation, we have today launched our own brand of refractor telescopes! 'StellaMira'. Rather than follow the crowd, for these all-important first telescopes we have chosen two triplets and a doublet from LongPerng in Taiwan. Taiwanese-made telescopes cost a little more than most similarly specified Chinese-made models but we are launching a new brand so wanted something special. The larger of the two StellaMira triplets, the StellaMira 104mm ED2 Triplet f/6.25 APO, was displayed at the International Astronomy Show last Nov. It is also the telescope we have chosen for our IKI Observatory at the Pixel Skies facility in Castilléjar, Spain. The smaller StellaMira 85mm ED2 Triplet f/6.6 APO is also now in stock and available to buy. Both triplet telescopes feature not one but 'two' ED glass elements. One FPL53 and the other FPL51. The third element is pretty impressive too, made from Lanthanum glass. The resulting colour correction is superb! The third telescope is a classic 80mm f10 Doublet. The StellaMira 80mm ED f/10. It also features an FPL53 ED element and a Lanthanum glass element which, together with the long focal-ratio, delivers truly outstanding performance for the visual astronomer. All three telescopes are fitted with sturdy LongPerng Rack & Pinion 'hybrid drive' dual speed focusers with 1:10 fine focusing. LongPerng's history making telescopes is impressive but because StellaMira is a FLO brand we are taking extra care to ensure every telescope performs to its full potential. With this in mind every single one, including the ED doublets, are being Es Reid tested here in the UK before dispatch. Indeed I want to say a sincere public THANK-YOU to Es for his help in selecting and testing the telescopes. His input and support at various stages of the project has been invaluable Steve
  28. 19 points
    Hi SGL, The Zoomify version is now on my website. Click on the full screen tab and then zoom in and enjoy. I m going to have to do Orion, Galactic Centre and Rho now after seeing the results from this. I say I but it is my friend who does the updates. I ve harassed him enough over this for the moment. I did notice one blend area that needed fixing. It became more evident on the site compared to my version Photoshop, so I'll fix that in my final version. http://www.astrophotography.ie/ My friend sent me a screenshot of what it looks like when you have a nice big widescreen monitor to view this. Tom
  29. 19 points
    I love these galaxy clusters and I have access to so many at this time of year. This one is Abell 779, 300 million light years away. I counted 36 galaxies of various size, but there are probably a few more lurking. I found out that my Lum contained a quasar. At 12.1 billion light years away, this is the farthest object I have imaged.
  30. 19 points
    Playing in Orion with the Takumar 200mm f4 lens again last night, quite pleased with the results at F5.6. This is 13 x 10 min subs in Ha with my Atik 383L CCD. I did same framing a couple of weeks ago but were quite washed out by the moon, this time its produced a much deeper image of the surrounding nebulosity. Ive never imaged Orion so many times in one season before but trying to get the best I can with different combinations with the limited number of clear nights, needed a bit more date really but Orion is going behind my trees by 10pm now. Guided, captured, stacked & DDP in MaximDL, processed in photoshop. I did try step down rings last week to eliminate star spikes but wasn't happy with the vignetting they introduced so decided to live with the spikes. Lee
  31. 19 points
    Hi all, My first capture of a comet and pretty exited about it! Definitely makes you think! Love to get back to this rock in couple months to get a composition with the H&S nebula and hopefully with a bit more brightness. Curious at how it will look then! This was just over two hours of imaging using the stock Nikon d610 and TS72 apo. Mounted and guided with the Star adventurer. The image is a blend of two stacks, one aligned for the stars and one for the comet. Stacking was done in DSS. Ken
  32. 19 points
    I created a video of my best images to January 2020: It's my first go at it, and so some mistakes. Possibly not enough time on some of the images as I think this depends on what motion was chosen. No idea how the title page comes out a few images in and I should have added that the music was aptly "starlight glow". I did 2 - this one is 3sec per image. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrXERo9S3lk This one is 7secs per image (obviously the video is longer) and this one is anotated. Carole N.B. Not completely Deep sky, but there wasn't a forum for mixed images.
  33. 19 points
    Here's my first SHO hubble pallette pic! my ZWO Sii filter arrived at Christmas time, to complete the Ha Oiii Sii trinity. I found Sii doesn't add much to a lot of things so far but my first target was the crab nebula. What an explosion of colour! 200PDS, EQ6-R, ASI1600MM-pro, Zwo filters, about 1hr of each.
  34. 19 points
    I finally managed to get some LRGB for my second panel of the mosaic I shot of the Monoceros area. I already had the narrowband mosaic finished. I used the Ha and O3 to enhance the R and B channels and also some of the O3 in the green channel. I used the @ollypenrice method of blend mode Lighten i the channels in PS. I also created a combined Lum from the Ha and O3 and blended that in at about 30% in the final image. Total exposure for both panels about 12,5 hours: L: 73*60s R: 35*60s G: 31*60s B: 34*60s Ha: 54*300s O3: 60*300s Equipment used: Zwo ASI 1600MM-Cool + Samyang 135/2.0 @f/4 and HEQ5 Pro Synscan mount.
  35. 18 points
    I've been wanting to get these two together since I acquired the Vixen. Skies looked like they might be clear for a while early on, and so it turned out. Didn't get much observing done, but I did manage to align the two scopes successfully using the adjustment plate. It's a little fiddly especially in full darkness, but very solid once clamped down. Anyway, these two old birds give a wonderful combination of widefield with the Genesis and high powers with the Vixen. With the 24mm Pan in the Genesis I was getting the whole of Orion's belt in the field of view, then up close on the trap with the Vixen, lovely stuff. I've finally got the AZ100 working with my Nexus II now, so won't need the DSC when I acquire my AZ100 proper which will save a little cash. The DSC is very nice actually because it does give the option of phone free observing if you want it.
  36. 18 points
    Mars, 2020-02-20 Mars this morning! It is already beginning to give enough details, if a sandstorm does not occur as in the last appearance, this will be the year of the red planet. For now we are only 5 "arc, still far from the 22" arc that we will have in the opposition.
  37. 18 points
    Here is 46 x 10 minutes with FSQ85 and Moravian G2-8300 camera and Astrodon 3nm filter. I had forgotten about this data set that I captured in 2018! I have been desperate to process something with not getting anything in the can lately due to shocking UK weather so was looking into my data lake and found these unprocessed jewels. As it happens, with a huge dataset like this, you hardly need to do any processing at all since the output from image integration is so good. All I did after preprocessing was do an Automatic background Extraction, a masked stretch and a bit of HDR with a mask. That's it. I hope you like it and it gets you looking forward to summer again. This will be an excellent foundation for a colour North American/Pelican project as well.
  38. 18 points
    A couple of craters with my 180 Mak/ASI220 mono from last week. Still learning! Chris
  39. 18 points
    I don't know what happened, suddenly we had 2 or 3 consecutive days with good seeing here in Germany last week. Took my chances and went out with the C11 I aquired a bit more than a year ago. Here are the results, and I must say I am quite happy with them. I know that many guys here can do more, but I still consider myself as a beginner and will be glad if I could continue learning from you. Copernicus with some area around Copernicus only Plato Goldschmidt Sinus Iridum C11, ASI ZWO 290 MMC, Baader IR pass filter, no Barlow
  40. 18 points
    After numerous trashed attempts at M45 over the past few months (not to mention previous years) I've decided this is probably as good as it's going to get for me. This is 20x 30s and 20x60s of R, G and B taken with ASI1600 + Canon 200mm, pre and post processed in PI and then colour tweaked in PS followed by a minimal final noise reduction. I took some Ha as well (well you never know!) but that's not in the mix. I tried removing stars with Starnet++ but that didn't help (proabably operator error) and I tried combining both Histogram and Arcsinh stretch to try to get more colour into the stars but most of that seems to have been lost again. As ever C&C are always welcome. I fear the window of opportunity in this location is pretty much done for this year so it'll be the autumn again before I can have another go. Thanks for looking. Adrian
  41. 18 points
    Worth noting the close conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter at the end of twilight on December 21st 2020, Winter Solstice (that must be one for the astro*****s!) They are 0.1 degrees apart, the closest for 20 years or so and close enough to get in the same high power FoV, complete with moons galore. This is a SkySafari simulation:- Chris
  42. 17 points
    Here are NGC5216, 5218, 5205 and at least twenty more galaxies, from last night. I really like the violent interaction that appears to be going on between the first two. The data is from both my Esprit 150 with ASI071 (sitting on my Mesu) and my Meade 14" (ACF) on the EQ8 with my newly modded Sony A7s. The Meade data is helping out on the three NGC galaxies in the centre. This is my first galaxy image of the season and first time I got my head around using the Sony A7s (just Ha modded by JTW - not that Ha was needed for this image). It is a full frame big pixel (8.4 µm) mirror-less DSLR that is supposed to be the most light sensitive one ever made by Sony. My hope is that it will be a relatively good match for the 3.55 meters of focal length of the Meade SCT (although still oversampling at 0.49 "/ pixel). However, it seems like I will have to run it with an intervallometer (which is low-tech and fine with me) since I never got the Sony capture program on my laptop to do what I wanted it to do, which wasted a few hours of imaging time last night. I am really surprised how well my old EQ8 handles the 40+ kg of SCT. Last night guiding RMS was sometimes even below 0.4 "/pixel. I think it got good help from the Lodestar X2 on the OAG, so I just bought another Lodestar X2 to give the Mesu mount the same treat soon. I also post the annotated image (from PI) suggesting that there are at least 23 galaxies in there. Totally about 8 hours of data. Comments most welcome of course! EDIT - I now also added the image from the 14" SCT.
  43. 17 points
    After battling the wind i managed to get some decent data last night. All taken with the evolution 925, all best 20% of 1k and processed in photoshop. First up, a few with the 385c with a baader neodymium at F/10 And a few with the 294mc pro, 4 panel mosaic is F/10 and the others are with a 2.5x barlow.
  44. 17 points
    Seeing Nakedgun's post showing that lovely vintage long focal length refractor has inspired me to show you the result of a little project I worked on last year. My brothers best mate knows I'm "into astronmy" and offered me a telescope that one of his work colleagues was wanting rid off and was free to a good home. Of course, I jumped at the offer without even knowing what was being offered as I'd never wish a scope of any description to be taken to the tip. I was warned that it came in a huge wooden box and there were loads of bits that looked damaged and or broken. I'll keep the post short and I collected what I believe to be a Prinz 660 refractor complete with tripod, wooden coffin case and most of it's original accessories. Unfortunately, the tripod was in a sorry state and I don't have space for the case, so the tough decision was made to discard these. Even though the 0.965" EPs are not in good condition, I have kept them for prosperity. I have also kept the solar projection screen which I have attached and used to view sunspots. I used a Vixen 36.4mm adapter (which I had read on another forum fits these old scopes perfectly) to convert the focus tube to accept modern 1.25" accessories. I bought some new 76mm tube rings (which are surprisingly difficult to find) and fitted these so I could use on my modern mounts. I currently use this scope mounted on my Vixen Porta II mount (bought from a fellow SGL member) for casual viewing. I fitted a Telrad finder which, although not very attractive, is far superior to the original finder scope, which I have also kept. I absolutely love this old telescope, which is probably a similar age to myself. Even though I have an incredible refractor in the form of a WO FLT-110, the Prinz 660, with a 76.2mm lens and focal length of 1250mm, is the scope that gets hauled out into the yard when I just want to get back to basics and have a bit of fun. I have attached a couple of photos of my finished little "restoration" project, and it is a thing thing of beauty (despite the Telrad haha). And to think it was heading for the tip. I shudder at the thought.
  45. 17 points
    Just landed. Quick few photos for now. Can confirm was packed to within an inch of its life. slywatcher have learned their lesson with the poor earlier attempts. Initial thoughts are weight wise, it does not seem all that more than the Meade 5000 127 apo I recently passed on. It is however weighted towards the business end. Lol Delivered to my parents house. Need to get home shortly and start playing with it. Queue the clouds now. Hey ho
  46. 17 points
    Venus from 28.01.2020, captured with Celestron C9.25, baader UV filter and Asi 290mm camera. Stacked 10% of 25,000 frames captured Fair seeing conditions, the phase and clouds showing very nicely. The baader UV filter delivers again on Venus. I would love get a sharper image sometime, but not its the easiest of targets.
  47. 17 points
    Arriving home from the grocery store around 5:30 to a wonderfully bright Venus but a bank of cloud around the horizon, I thought that Mercury may be lost already. Stepping into the garden, I quickly located the little planet above the clouds. I popped inside to grab the Equinox 80. With the help of the Nagler zoom, I was able to see the phase, around half, of the planet. Moving up much higher to see the glistening diamond that is Venus. Here I could see a planet that is starting to resemble a small moon. Again it’s phase was clear to see. In between these two planets was a third planet. To see this planet, I would need to bring out my 10” dob. The key to finding the ice giant would be identifying Phi Aquarii. SkySafari and the view through my 9x50 RACI helped to find the star. At 133x, I was confident that the pale blue dot that could be seen was Neptune. My 5 year old daughter had come outside and asked to have a look. She knows her planets and was pleased to see Neptune. However, her priorities were now on drawing with chalk on the path. I was requested to lend my artistic skills to this endeavour. “Just one more planet” I replied. Before long a pale green disc was floating through the eyepiece. Father and daughter enjoyed this sight before moving onto pavement decorations. After some time, I was left alone as it was time for the children to eat. The grown ups enjoy a date night on a Saturday night. I set my sights on another solar system target, the comet C/2017 T2 (PANSTARRS). I left the solar system briefly through using the double cluster as a starting point. Just as I was trying to spot the comet, light cloud arrived obscuring my view. After a few minutes, I decided to pass some time putting bikes and various other items away. Despite a light haze, I thought the big bright Moon would be worth a look. The terminator revealed a distinct mountain peek. Very cool. I couldn’t help but wonder if it would be possible to view Earth’s mountains from the Moon in a similar fashion. Looking up, I noticed that the skies above had cleared. Resuming my search for the comet, I was surprised by how difficult it was to find. I have seen it many times before but the bright moon was making it quite tricky. Eventually the right magnification/exit pupil was found and the comet revealed itself in averted vision. It was nearly time for bedtime stories before the grown up meal. For a final flourish, I quickly sought and found the asteroid, Vesta. It shone brightly and clearly among the stars. Four planets, a comet and an asteroid all before tea. I came inside with that wonderful energised feeling that a good session can bring.
  48. 17 points
    Up close and personal with the Skylight AR101/15. One of only two all brass versions sold by Richard Day, this one was made in January/February 2015 and sent to Melbourne, Australia March 2015
  49. 17 points
    Hi fellow stargazers! well so far it has been a poor winter here in the North West of the uk and I have rarely been able to enjoy the night sky for what seems like months now! I started this mosaic in November and although I am not completely happy with the last few sessions due to high cloud, wind, moon etc I thought I’d have a go at putting it together. firstly, I can’t believe how easy APP is at piecing together a mosaic! It stitched it together seamlessly with digital algorithmic glue that encourages me to keep on doing mosaic images once the clouds allow. The image is of the Soul Nebula and contains about 48 hours of data. I need to learn some subtle processing techniques to try and reduce the stretching of the data from effecting the stars as they have bloated slightly and where I could see space between seemingly close stars they have melded together which is a bit annoying, but this hobby always needs further research. Imaging scope: revelation Astro ed100 Camera: Atik 460 mono Filters: Astrodon ha, oiii, sii 5nm mount: AZEQ6 data acquired with Artemis Capture calibrated and stacked in APP tweaked in PS Calibration frames used: darks, flats, dark flats, bias, bad pixel map There are talented folk on this forum that could have made much better use of this data but here is my result for my efforts so far thanks for looking and any comments/ criticism welcome. Bryan
  50. 16 points
    Had a great session and first light last night with my new (previously loved) 150PL. I purchased this scope specifically for observing doubles, so I was very interested to see how it would get on. Having introduced it to my venerable Skytee 2, I ventured forth. I started with the crescent moon and Venus which looked gorgeous in the darkening azure sky. At a low power the dark maria were plainly visible in the darkness of the earthshine and the illuminated crescent was showing some lovely features, including Mare Crisium and Cleomedes nearby by with an interesting scattering of small craters on the flat crater floor. Venus was showing a nice gibbous shape but, oh my, I forgot about the diffraction spikes you get with newts!! Into the back garden and out of the wind to do some deep sky stuff, having let the scope cool for at least an hour. Starting with a quick star test on Polaris the image was dancing all over the place - clearly not a good night for tackling my pre-prepared list of doubles. Polaris's companion was easily visible, and slewing over to Alnitak, its companion was also clearly visible in the glare at 240x - a promising start as it has proved to be tricky on nights of poor seeing. Next was M42 - at low power it was, as always, stunning, with the wings curving a great distance into the darkness and the trapezium beautifully resoved with tight stars. Higher magnifications showed the trapezium floating in the mottled pattern of the box shaped core, with an inky black hole nearby. A short interlude followed for dinner and to thaw frozen hands and numb toes. When I returned the seeing seemed to be much better, so I thought I'd have a go at the E and F components. At 150x I couldn't see anything apart from the fours stars. Cranking up to 196x I could immediately see a very faint fifth member, but no sixth. But I persevered and eventually I could make out a sixth member, flitting in and out of view, but 100% there. I honestly didn't know where the E and F should be located beforehand and checking my results on-line confirmed the catch. This is the first time I have caught the F component in any of my scopes, so to say I was chuffed is an understatement - a great result for the 150PL! A quick look at the Eskimo nebula - very obvious with a star like core and extensive fuzzy shell. Then, flushed with the success of the Trapezium, I thought I would try a couple of more challenging well placed doubles. First was 57 Cancri, with its two mag 5 and 6 components separated by 1.5" - once found, this was a clear split at 196x, which made it closer than anything I have ever split in the C8 or the 100RS. Very pleased. Apologies for the drawing which does not show any field stars - my hands were really cold! Nearby was STF1338 in Lynx, a closer double with its mag 6 and 7 components split by just 1.0". I didn't really expect to be able to split them, so I cranked up the magnification to 240x and to my amazement, I found that in moments of stillness, the split was evident. Most of the time it was a clear elongation of the pair, but in those brief moments, a black line appeared between the two. Checking my estimated position angle confirmed I was not imagining it. Oddly the position angle and magnification difference of both pairs was almost identical and I had to check I was not looking at the same pair again! I did feel that the scope and conditions would allow more magnification, but I didn't have the equipment, so a new eyepiece or barlow is next on my list. Overall I'm extremely happy with the scope. It's double splitting ability lived up to my expectations and despite it's relative bulk, it was a joy to use - somehow the eyepiece always seemed to be at the right height and in the right place! However there were some niggles, and the star test which I performed under the improved conditions later in the evening, was, to be honest horrible! I'll post more information in a review of the scope, and hopefully get some opinions of more experienced members. But I guess the proof of the mirror is in the splitting, and it was pretty darned good at that tonight. Clear skies.
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